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Just For Fun / How to Kill a Character

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Need to have a character buy the farm? It's easy! Just:

  1. Put them in red clothes: For throwaway characters and warriors and young girls a fatal choice of fashion.
  2. Inflict them with Genre Blindness.
  3. Or with too much Genre Savviness
  4. Get 'em laid.
  5. ...preferably by the main character.
  6. Put them on "point".
  7. Let them be completely happy for a minute.
  8. Hire Tim Minear. Or Joss Whedon. Or both. (If German, Kai Meyer is recommended.)
  9. Make them do something — anything — noble.
  10. Make them more interesting than the lead.
  11. Have a ratings slump.
  12. Convince the actor to argue with the executive producer.
  13. Make it very plain that the character can not die.
  14. Announce that they are retiring from a life of public service in two weeks.
  15. Let them goof up when they're working for the Big Bad.
  16. Alternatively, let the Big Bad decide that they have outlived their usefulness.
  17. Let them have a change of heart and switch sides to fight with the heroes.
  18. Send them out of doors on a partly cloudy day, especially near sunrise or sunset.
  19. Let them show a picture of their sweetheart (or their baby) to the rest of The Squad.
  20. Flash forward to their deathbed, years later.
  21. Cast a very old or infirm actor, and wait for them to die.
  22. Give them critical information to deliver to the main characters.
  23. Offer them some Schmuck Bait.
  24. Have them chase the heroes across a Rope Bridge.
  25. Get them a job at a Dangerous Workplace with No OSHA Compliance.
  26. Let the hero come and visit their boss.
  27. Assign them to operate the Explosive Instrumentation.
  28. Protect them with lots of safety equipment.
  29. Introduce them to the Bolivian army.
  30. Throw a sixteenth birthday party for them.
  31. Cue up a Really Dead Montage.
  32. Relocate them to Tokyo...
  33. ... or to a town where nothing exciting ever happens.
  34. Have them go out of their way to be mean to everyone.
  35. Cast them as the villain in a Disney film.
  36. Give them that secret potion, the one that turns you into a monster. Because What Measure Is a Non-Human?, really?
  37. Let them fall below the Bishōnen Line.
  38. Enlist them in the armed forces in a monster/disaster movie.
  39. Draw them a bath, and to make sure it's fatal, make it candlelit).
  40. Send them down a river.
  41. Make them the Sacrificial Lamb used to establish a unique reputation for your show.
  42. Chase them into the street without giving them time to Look Both Ways.
  43. Have another character curse their existence.
  44. Write when you're having a bad day.
  45. Hire Ron Marz. (Though this is hit-or-miss. You might just end up with the hero's girlfriend stuffed in a refrigerator.)
  46. Have them uncover the Masquerade or discover the hero's Secret Identity when the plot doesn't make it convenient for them to do so.
  47. Make them a main character's double from an Alternate Universe.
  48. Cast them as the main character's pilot or chauffer.
  49. Make them a mentor who is more powerful than the hero.
  50. Have them visit the hero's hometown after the hero refuses the Call.
  51. Become a writer for the franchise, and write that character's death.
  52. Become an executive for that franchise, and order that character killed off.
  53. Make them reveal their homosexuality.
  54. Sign them up for the sequel.
  55. Assign them the job of mentoring a hero.
  56. Put them "in the way" of your One True Pairing.
  57. Stop selling their toy.
  58. Hire Yoshiyuki Tomino.
  59. Ask George R. R. Martin. He seems to know what he's doing.
  60. Send them to a place that gets snow.
  61. Hit them with everything from every direction.
  62. Hire R.A. Salvatore. With Troy Denning and Karen Traviss on backing vocals.
  63. Have them say "I'll be right back." Might not kill them, but it will make a liar out of them at least.
  64. Have someone say words to the effect of "We couldn't do without him."
  65. Have them be the hero's best friend.
  66. Or even better, a love interest.
  67. Make them be a Mook. Especially one without a name or wearing a mask.
  68. Write them as a bland, cliched OC that the audience demands they be killed off as a pointless annoyance, then bring in a Mary-Sue Hunter.
    • Make them a Mary Sue and then alert the PPC.
  69. Have them kidnap someone's kids.
  70. Have them betray the hero. They won't survive that, right?
  71. Get them pregnant. (Sometimes works even if it's a man.)
  72. Trip them.
  73. Have them decline to participate in the Big Bad's evil scheme when he offers them the chance. Alternatively, choosing to play along can be fatal too.
  74. Let someone hold them in their arms.
  75. Make them a pure girl. Especially an ill one.
  76. Destroy their hometown with a nuclear bomb.
  77. Make them a Crazy Survivalist.
  78. Cast them in an anti-war film.
  79. Show how unbeatably badass they are, then have the new guy come in...
  80. Have them delay a conversation with somebody until later.
  81. Have a lawyer ban them from returning.
  82. Give them a pointless cause to die.
  83. Put them in Game of Thrones.
  84. Make them cute and aim for a Newbery medal.
  85. Cast them as the only black person in a group.
  86. Give them a disability.
  87. Give them a cough.
  88. Diagnose them with anything, but especially cancer.
  89. Make them a small pet, such as a goldfish or a hamster, in a black comedy or a children's cartoon.
  90. In one way or another, kill them before they're even a character.
  91. If they're semiconscious or unconscious, tell them to Please Wake Up.
  92. Have the doctors do all they can, and then say so. Alternatively, have the doctor look serious or apologise for no apparent reason.
  93. If someone asks if they're dead, make them unable to finish their sentence ("Is he...?").
  94. Take them swimming at night.
  95. Avoid giving them a personality.
  96. Exploit the Video Game Cruelty Potential.
  97. Hook them up to an electrocardiogram.
  98. Eliminate them to the TLC. Sure, they'll survive, but it will keep them out of the show for a while…

...but really, Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?